GANDHINAGAR: Union minister Prakash Javadekar today announced to double the number of scholarships offered to African students in order to promote diversity in education in Indian institutions. The HRD minister said the government would now offer scholarships to 50,000 African students over the next five years.
He made the announcement while speaking at a seminar on skill development, organised as part of the ongoing annual meeting of African Development Bank. "Cooperation in education and skill development is very important.
We have given scholarships to 24,000 African students till date. But, in the next five years, we will double this number and give scholarship to 50,000 African students," the minister said.
He stressed on the need to have students from diverse nationalities to put Indian educational institutions on the global map. "Our aim is to attract more foreign students to our institutes, such as IIMs and IITs, because we believe that learning in diversity would prove to be very crucial," he said. Speaking on the Africa-India cooperation, Javadekar said both the countries share common demographic features and large youth population, which he referred to as the "work force of the future".
However, he warned that these youth would become a liability if they are not properly trained and made "employable". "If we give them employability, then it's a demographic dividend for us. Otherwise, its a disaster.
That is why cooperation in education and skill development sector is very important for both Africa and India," he added.